Reviewed: January 2022
Released: 2021, self-released
Reviewer: Svetlana Likhacheva
Deeply disturbed by the illogicalities and injustices of everyday life in Croatia, the black/hardcore trio Bednja was left with no choice but to speak up about their greatest frustrations in their fresh EP called Ponosni u Smrti, which means “Proud in Death” in Croatian. In this record, Bednja dives deeply into the darkest feelings of its members related to their home country. Thinking about past and present of Croatia, Petar, Ivan and Nikola see many factors that make life in the county hard and sickening. The grievous social climate, bipolar relationships with other countries Croatia has had in its past, bloodstained civil wars and resistance movements – all that strongly affect the minds of the Croatian people.
Referring to the duality in country’s international politics, Ponosni u Smrti has a duality of sound, combining two acoustic tracks with folk melodies, and two extra intense, dark and brutal tracks. The opening one, Pucajte u prsa (A Shot To The Chest), is more like an experimental intro piece – a short cut of a tranquil folklore-styled melody setting up a deceptively calm mood. Although the calmness soon gets shattered to pieces, when the next two tracks kick in. Mrzimo Vas (We Hate You) and Ti ćeš doći u svojoj moči (Vratit ćeš se satane) (You Will Come To Your Power (You’ll Come Back To Satan)) are fierce pieces of harsh black metal with menacing guitar riffs, intense drumming and wild vocals. The title track brings back the dark folk instrumentals with some sullen and slow speech. It is a long six minute journey giving the listener an unsecure and anxious feeling.
Overall, I would call it a decent EP with a deep meaning and idea. Even though I am not a huge fan of politics in general, I consider art, especially music, one of the greatest forms of expressing thoughts and feelings on any kind of topic. Speaking about the drawbacks of the record, it didn’t feel very special, unique or catchy to me, so I would advise Bednja to work on their songwiriting skills to create something more memorable. But still, they did a good job with Ponosni u Smrti EP.